Interior design firm casts its net into out-of-town, business markets
Kristen Ivey, owner of The Studio, hopes a newly designed Web site, flat-fee service, and a push into other nearby regional markets will help her Reno-based residential and commercial interior design firm weather the economic storm.
Ivey says The Studio has extended its reach into Las Vegas, Sacramento, Lake Tahoe and Southern California through social media networking, direct marketing, trade shows, and extensive travel.
The firm already has landed work on custom homes in outside markets, which fostered the idea of expanding its reach.
“It has given us a boost in confidence to do well in those other markets,” Ivey says. “We are building relationships with quality people in all those markets so that we are familiar with what services and products we can recommend. It has given us a kind of lift up so that we can provide excellent resources in those areas as well and not just locally.”
The Studio previously focused on interior design services for high-end luxury homes, and Ivey hopes that by scouring new markets she’ll also land some work in the hospitality, restaurant, nightclub and retail markets.
“Even though the market has been very slow, in certain areas there is still movement in some hospitality projects,” Ivey says. “We are trying to reach those jobs; they are the larger-type projects we want to focus on.”
The Studio employs three designers, and Ivey says she can ramp up quickly if she needs to add staff to tackle large-scale projects.
The firm also launched a revamped Web site, everyroomsastage.com that offers creative design tips and ideas, a monthly newsletter, and news about interior design trends.
Additionally, The Studio has seen its flat-fee design service gaining traction. For a set fee The Studio assesses a space and presents clients with an entire design plan that they can pursue in its entirety or pick appealing elements depending on their budgets.
“A lot of times people are scared to hire a designer because they feel like it will be a huge open-ended bill,” Ivey says. “But people want to know ahead of time: ‘What am I getting?’ and ‘How much is it going to cost?'” If they know that up front, they are more confident in hiring a designer.”
“People like it so much better because they know what they are getting.”
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